The University of Victoria's aboriginal liaison, Greg Sam, took time to talk about not only his people's faith, but the effect other faiths have wreaked upon his people.
First Nations people were the victim of cultural genocide when European settlers first landed on North America.Sam
said the healing process when one faith victimizes another is a complicated one.
"It created conflict, it created confusion and it forced a change in attitude of our belief, which is still very strong," Sam
said."However, when you're talking about Christianity and the whole indoctrination of going into the schools and preaching their religion - of course it was bad.I think we still maintain a strong power in our beliefs but, I hate to say this, we're not traditionally intact." A member of the Coast Salish First Nation, Sam said alongside the passing down of the Christian faith, customs and practices, the hurt caused by certain Christians trying to overthrow aboriginal beliefs has also been passed down.
"Those people who went to those schools, it has streamlined down to their families and their grandchildren," Sam
said."Without realizing the effect of the abuse that was received in regards to mental, physical.So yes it did, it had a real big impact."
But when Sunday rolls around, preaching and arguing about the pain caused to his
faith is the last thing Sam
going to do.Part of his
faith teaches moving on from tragedy.When he
takes the stage as one of the conference's keynote speakers, song, dance and prayer will be on his
"A lot of people have mended and healed with the support of the community," Sam